Sunday, February 16, 2014

52 Ancestors: #7 - Lurenna JOLLETT Bryan

Amy Johnson Crow of No Story Too Small has issued a challenge:  write one blog post each week devoted to a specific ancestor.  It can be a story, a biography, a photograph, an outline of a research problem – anything that focuses on one ancestor.




As much as I would like to continue with the “imagined” sisters of my “imagined grandaunt” Sophia Jollett Norman, there is just too little to say right now about Judy Jollett who married William Cave, Elizabeth Jollett who married William Eaton, or Susannah Jollett who married James Briant.  The names are too old and too common.  There are too many men with those same names to determine which ones married my Jollett women.  So I’ll move along to another “imagined” relative, Lurenna JOLLETT.

Fortunately, Lurenna (or Lourenna, Laurenna, Larenna, Lurena) lived long enough for her name to show up in census records.  But her parents are a mystery.  Her birth about 1817 seems too late for her to be a daughter of my James and Nancy Walker Jollett.  Maybe James had a brother or cousin I don’t know about.  Her marriage to Robert Briant in January 1839 is recorded in Greene County, Virginia.  That’s certainly the right neighborhood, the stomping grounds of all my known Jolletts. 

In the 1840 Greene County census, Robert was listed as 15-19, Lurenna was 20-30, and there was a male child under 5.

By 1850, Robert and Lurenna had settled in the Linville community of Rockingham County, and like his neighbors, Robert was a farmer.  Neither one could read or write, which might explain how they came to be enumerated at various times as BRYAN, BRIANT, even O'BRIAN.  By 1860 the Bryans’ farm consisting of 50 acres of improved land and 50 unimproved was worth $1500 and their personal property $850.  Robert had four Irishmen working on the farm.

The non-population agricultural census of 1860 gives a clearer picture of the Bryans’ successful farm:
FARM: 50 acres improved, 50 acres unimproved, value of farm $1500; value of farm equipment $85
ANIMALS: 3 horses, 3 milk cows, 28 sheep, 18 swine, value of animals $460
CROPS: 90 bushels of wheat, 75 bushels rye, 300 bushels Indian corn, 100 bushels oats, 15 bushels Irish potatoes
BUTTER: 75 lbs
MOLASSES: 12 gallons
HAY: 2 tons
VALUE OF SLAUGHTERED ANIMALS:  $170

In 1870, the value of the “O’BRIAN” farm was placed at $2000 and personal property $500.

By 1880, Robert evidently decided to start taking it easy in his older age as he was listed as a “farmhand.”  He died 6 years later of Consumption. 
Tombstone of Lourenna Jollett Bryan
Dayton Cemetery
Dayton, Virginia
photo courtesy of Findagrave.com

In 1900 Lurenna was living in the town of Dayton (Rockingham County, Virginia) in the household of her son George.  She outlived her husband by nearly twenty years dying in 1906.


In all, Lurenna and Robert raised 8 children.  The 1900 census indicates that only 6 were still living at that time. 

Bryan family tombstone
Dayton Cemetery
Dayton, Virginia
photo courtesy of Findagrave.com


Robert A. and son John Q. A.
share a side of the tombstone
photo courtesy of Findagrave.com
In researching Lurenna’s children, grandchildren, great-grands and even great-greats, I was struck by the fact that seemingly for the first time not everyone was a farmer.  In this bunch o’ Bryans there are hotel managers, owners of an insurance company (looks like a multi-generational family business), a civil engineer, teachers, salesladies, stenographers, and even a census enumerator. 

A few stayed right there in Rockingham County, Virginia (the Dayton Cemetery is full of Lurenna and Robert’s down line).  While others ventured off to nearby Roanoke, Virginia, others moved on to Missouri and Texas. 

The Bryans are well-researched and documented, but I surely wish they had found Lurenna’s parents.  But what can I expect – none of them seem to know her maiden name was JOLLETT.

Three Generations:

Lurenna JOLLETT (16 Apr 1817 - 12 Feb 1906 Dayton, Rockingham Co, VA) & Robert A. BRIANT / BRYAN (15 Feb 1819 - 5 Nov 1886 Dayton, Rockingham Co, VA) married Jan 1839 Greene Co, VA


1. Jeremiah Hiram BRYAN (18 Dec 1840 Greene Co, VA - 3 Mar 1920 Ray Co, MO) & Mary Frances FRIDLEY (26 Jul 1847 - 27 Jan 1931 Missouri) married 25 Apr 1867 Rockingham Co, VA
  • Margaret BRYAN (1868 - Aug 1876)
  • Hiram BRYAN  (1872 Carroll Co, MO - 1876 in Carroll Co, MO)
  • Jerry Newton BRYAN (1 Nov 1877 Ray Co, MO - 13 Sep 1955 Ray Co, MO) & Iva CLARK (14 Sep 1888 - 13 Oct 1979)
  • John Robert BRYAN (15 Oct 1881 Carroll Co, MO - 10 Aug 1956 Louis Fishing Camp, Jackson, TX) & Cledeth Elizabeth READE (3 Jan 1883 – 14 Dec 1967 Ganado, TX) married 30 May 1909 
  • Mary Ida BRYAN  (20 Aug 1884 Carroll Co, MO - Sep 1971 Carroll Co, MO) & William Sayler MYERS (1884 – 1968) 6 Feb 1912 Carrollton, Carroll, MO


2. Mary M. BRYAN (1843 Rockingham, VA - before 1900 ) & Jackson MAHONE (1845 - )
  • Robert MAHONE  (1868 Rockingham Co, VA - )
  • John MAHONE  (1871 Rockingham Co, VA - )
  • Viola MAHONE (1879  Rockingham Co, VA - )


3. Henry C. BRYAN (5 Aug 1845 Rockingham Co, VA - 16 Jun 1909)

4. Robert S. BRYAN (Aug 1850 in Rockingham Co, VA – 1919) & Mary Fannie BYRD (1856 – 1935)  married 16 May 1877 Rockingham Co, VA
  • Lela BRYAN (1904 in Roanoke, VA - )  & Andrew J. NEWCOMB (1902 - )

 5.  John Q. A. BRYAN  (Aug 1857 Rockingham Co, VA – 1909 Rockingham Co, VA) & Cornelia J. L. MICHAEL  (Jul 1858 – 1938) married 22 Nov 1882 Rockingham Co, VA
  • Oscar Ivian BRYAN  (Jun 1883 - ) & Cora UNKNOWN (1885 Indiana - )
  • Lenora BRYAN (Jun 1885 Rockingham Co, VA - )  & Charles G. BURTON (1891 - )
  • John Q. A. BRYAN JR. (Dec 1889 Rockingham Co, VA - ) & Elsie UNKNOWN ( 1896 - )
  • Lillian Lurena BRYAN (Jul 1893 Rockingham Co, VA - ) & James Parish BOARD (6 Nov 1892 – 16 Oct 1950 Roanoke, VA) married 1915 Pasquotank, NC
  • Ralph Scott BRYAN (Dec 1895 Rockingham Co, VA - 27 Feb 1955 Roanoke, VA) & Goldie Mae FISHBACK ( 1900 – 1970)
  • William J. BRYAN (3 Nov 1898 Rockingham Co, VA - 6 Jul 1973 Roanoke, VA) & Mary THOMAS (13 Oct 1899 - 31 Jan 1987 Roanoke, VA)


6. George Washington BRYAN  (1859 Rockingham Co, VA – 1935 Dayton, Rockingham Co, VA) & Martha J. SIMON (Nov 1857 – 1939 Dayton, Rockingham, VA) married 30 Sep 1885 Dayton, Rockingham Co, VA
  • Mary Buford BRYAN (20 Apr 1887 Rockingham Co, VA - Jan 1974 in Dayton, Rockingham Co, VA) & Charles Benjamin ESTERLY (1887 Maryland - )
  • George Edgar BRYAN (25 Dec 1891 Rockingham Co, VA - 2 Mar 1955 Rockingham Co, VA) & Fannie Estelle  ENGLISH (15 Feb 1891 -  1965 Dayton, Rockingham Co, VA)
  • Pearle BRYAN (May 1895 Rockingham Co, VA – 1918) & Unknown BLACKBURN
  • Alice V. BRYAN (Oct 1896 Rockingham County, VA - 16 Sep 1961) & (1) Unknown ROUDABUSH ( - about 1920) & (2) John Lewis SINGER (27 Mar 1888 – 5 Apr 1959) married 7 Dec 1920 Harrisonburg, Rockingham, VA 
7. Joseph Marion BRYAN (Mar 1863 Rockingham Co, VA - 1935 Hardin, Clinton, MO) & Gabriella Lee SHANK  (9 May 1865 Rockingham Co, VA – 8 Jun 1958 Linwood, TX) married 8 Jun 1884 in Dayton, Rockingham Co, VA


  • Alfred BRYAN (3 Jun 1885 Rockingham Co, VA - 3 Jun 1885 Rockingham Co, VA)
  • Anna Lou BRYAN (4 Jun 1886 Rockingham Co, VA - Apr 1978 Winchester, Frederick, VA) & Alonzo S. KIEFFER  (2 Aug 1885 - ) married 1 Sep 1909 in Rockingham Co, VA 
  • John Henry BRYAN (22 Jul 1888 Rockingham Co, VA - Dec 1963 Missouri) & He Myrtle Mae ECKLEBERRY. (26 Feb 1892 - 3 Feb 1988 Scott City, Lincoln, Kansas)
  • Alice Mae “Allie” BRYAN (4 Apr 1890 - 2 Apr 1915)
  • Robert Scott BRYAN (18 Feb 1892 - 15 Feb 1974 Flagler, Kit Carson, CO) & Zola R. UNKNOWN (1895 – 1958)
  • Joseph Glen BRYAN (19 Oct 1894 - 16 Jul 1982 Marshfield, Webster, MO) & Bertie Jane SILVERS married 20 Jun 1923 Butler County, MO
  • Paul Dewey BRYAN (26 Jan 1899 MO - 30 Nov 1972 Shawnee Mission, Johnson, Kansas) & Margaret V. UNKNOWN (1902 – 1964)
  • Hiram Lee BRYAN (1902 Missouri - ) & Florence L. UNKNOWN.
  • Clifford E. BRYAN (1 Jul 1904 MO - 21 Oct 1981 Maywood, Cook, IL) 


8. Catherine BRYAN (1864 Rockingham Co, VA – before 1900)


TO DO:
Look for a will for Robert and Lurenna
Look at land sales for clues in names


5 comments:

  1. I am always amazed at the information you find! I hope you and the Bryans make contact sometime. AND for two people who didn't read or write they did well for themselves.

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  2. Rather than those names being too old or too common, I was wondering if the struggle would really be with a wide variety of spelling aberrations. The possibilities are almost endless!

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  3. I enjoyed your narrative, and especially the way you show the generations...which I get somewhat sloppy about when I'm doing my "one ancestor" reports...which are my most enthralling blogging these days. Many a midnight oil burns on my computer. Check out "When I was 69" sometime. I've also got VA, KY, MO and TX in my trees.

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  4. Robert and Lurenna did very well for people who could not read or write. They must have worked long hours on that farm & set an example of a good work ethic for the next generations as evidenced by how well they all did.

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  5. That agriculture census is interesting. It looks like they were quite well-to-do. And 75 lbs. of butter? Wow! That's a lot of butter.

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